Possible Driver Hand-Held Cell Phone Ban In Arlington

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Arlington is looking at a possible ban on cell phone use by drivers.

The Arlington City Council is considering an ordinance similar to one in El Paso that prohibits all but hands-free cell phone use.

Darrell Petry, with the El Paso Police Department, says since the ordinance was passed last year officers there have been busy writing tickets.

“Since April 1st of 2010 through July 20th 2011 we’ve issued 10,941 cell phone citations,” said Petry.

Petry says the goal of the ordinance was to help drivers keep their mind on the road. “It takes the phone out of your hand from talking on the phone. It takes the phone or the device out of your hand from texting, Google searching, all that stuff that you can do on smartphones now.”

Arlington police say cell phone distractions are a factor in 1 out of every 20 accidents in the city.

Arlington city councilmember Robert Rivera, who is in favor of passing an ordinance, believes the number of cell phone-related crashes will only increase. “We’re talking about accidents that are preventable,” he said. “We’re also talking about a problem that only grows each year.”
In El Paso an illegal cell phone use citation is $50. No word on what the fee will be in Arlington if an ordinance is passed.

Currently hand-held cell phone use is only banned in Arlington school zones.

  • NiteNurse

    It’s about time! Thank you Arlington for stepping up to the plate.

  • RussP

    Does anyone know if Texas has a law on the books that says two hands on the wheel when driving? The woman who gave me my commercial license test years ago made it sound like there was. If so, just enforcing this existing law would eliminate cell phones, cigarettes, cheeseburgers and everything else stupid that people do while driving. I had a woman behind me today brushing her teeth while driving.

    • C Bauer

      Mannix used an electric razor while driving.

  • DDT

    Kudos to the city of Arlington! Now if they can just get a handle on their skyrocketing murder rate this year, it wouldn’t be such a fetid hellhole to live in.

  • Zane Baldwin

    WooHoo!!! Great job Arlington!! When I went through driving school. One hand was supposed to be at 10 o’clock and the other hand at 2 o’clock. Nothing in our training said one hand should be on a cell phone!! :)

  • TravlnTxn

    I wish the rest of the COUNTRY would follow suit!

    • RussP

      A lot of cities and a couple of states already have. Texas could have been one of them but Perry vetoed it. Not sure if traffic laws can be made at the federal level.

  • TravlnTxn

    Does that include Rick Perry’s texting while driving????

  • http://dallasforme.com/2011/08/possible-driver-hand-held-cell-phone-ban-in-arlington-2/ Possible Driver Hand-Held Cell Phone Ban In Arlington — Me and the Chicks

    […] Arlington City Council is considering an ordinance that prohibits all but hands-free cell phone use. More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/0… PreviousPost […]

  • Ed Ball

    Its about time!!!Hey Ricky, until you sign legislation, you can forget about the White House!!!

  • Tony

    you guys are gonna let arlington control what you do??….COME ON people….take responsibility. what about changing the station on the radio, volume cd or mp3 tracks is that not a distraction. So you mean that arlington among other cities around the country are taking away your rights to use what you pay for and is regulated by the federal government NOT LOCAL is going to ban cell use without hands free devices in your own vehicle. next they are going to tell you that you have to have a permit to drive with a phone but must be concealed and have to take a 10hr class….lets all go to CB radios and walkie talkies..no wait they’ll put a ban on that too. just saying ….

    • RussP

      It takes a second to change the station on a radio and not much thought compared to the minutes (or more) people spend with their mind and hand on the phone. I much prefer the government enact laws protecting me from those who are too irresponsible to drive intelligently and safely than to enact laws that force me to protect myself (such as seat belt and helmet laws). And using a cell phone while driving is not a right. Neither is driving, it’s a privelage and responsibility that a lot of people don’t deserve.

  • Amanda

    People should be careful when driving, but I am strongly against a city ordinance with imposed fines for this. You can’t legislate common sense. This is just a revenue making scheme. I’m glad Rick Perry vetoed it state-wide!

    • RussP

      By that reasoning, are you also against fines for speeding, running red lights or drunk driving? Common sense tells most people not to do it but it takes police enforcement to stop others.

  • Missy

    Then let’s ban smoking while driving, eating while driving, applying makeup…I’m sick to death of our nanny state we live in now.

    • RussP

      Sometimes you need a nanny state when there are so many children who can’t put down their toys when they should be paying attention to what they are doing. If Texas enforced a two hands on the wheel law like some of the NE states used to, it would eliminate everything but driving while driving.

      • frustrated

        I’m with Missy… too many rules for those of us who CAN function without the nanny government holding or slapping our hands. The “NE” is exactly what Texas does NOT need to become. People up there don’t respect or fight for their rights, nor do they deserve them for their complacency. You know…if you have some ditzy broad yapping on her cellphone while she’s putting on makeup in traffic, she is going to do this whether or not there is a possibility she’ll get some traffic ticket for it. Look at DWI, or any other crime for that matter. This is NOTHING more than another way to earn revenue for the city/state.

  • NiteNurse

    All you babies who are sooooo connected to your cellphone like it’s some kind of bottle calm down. Just remember about 15 years ago very few us had cellphones and we did just fine without them. I kinda like the peace of being in my car without having to deal with people trying to call me.

  • frustrated

    El Paso wrote almost 11,000 tickets in one year??? We really need to be wasting police resources busting people talking on their phone? If your driving is distracted enough to cause danger to others, it’s illegal regardless of the method of distraction. Some people are capable of prioritizing driving WHILE they’re talking on the phone. If you get an important call while driving…a quick dialog and hang up shouldnt be against the law. Carrying on a 30 minute conversation while you file your nails and tune the radio is different. Police officers use a full-screen computer, talk on their cell phones AND use a radio while driving…do they have superpowers? No…they are regular people like us, and it’s not cool that a guy driving with a 17″ monitor and keyboard in his face is justified, but a person getting an update on their drive home is not. Don’t GIVE AWAY your rights and punish everyone because of the few idiots out there. They’ll still be out there regardless of the law. When will people understand that concept?

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